She sighed. She was crouching on the floor, sifting some leaves with her frail-looking, wrinkled hands. She then slit the middle of one elongated leaf, which looked like pandan, and inserted the base of another. She repeated the process until she made a beautiful mandala of leaves. She pushed the heart of the foliage into the soot-bottomed casserole and then poured rice grains in it. “It is her own way to keep the rice from getting scorched,” Tommy, Whang Od’s frequent visitor, explained. She cut the pinewood into splinters and fed them into the hearth. The fire illuminated her tattooed arms.
Healing started with an itchiness that asked for some serious scratching. But I had to resist, or else it would bleed anew. I patted the embossed centipede, my protective guide, on my lower back and scratched the surrounding areas instead. It’s been a week since I came back in Cebu from a ten-day solo trip in northern Luzon. By far, my recent birthday trip was the most storied and writable I’ve ever had. It’s been a year since I went to Siargao, broke Pawlita, and met new friends. And I thought, it was the most storied and writable. It’s been […]